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Michelangelo’s most mysterious work on display

2009-12-22

It’s considered a sketch, but its still unclear what piece he did it for or if he left it unfinished.

Now, this stunning drawing sketched in pencil can be seen until January 10th in one of Rome’s most popular museums. The work made its way from Florence to Rome for Christmas.

Pina Ragioneri
Director, Foundation Casa Buonarroti

“It represents a very special and profound moment of Michelangelo’s religious vision, his reflection on the relationship between mother and child, which is not a calm relationship; it’s an uneasy and dramatic relationship.”

Domenico Calcagno
Secretary General, Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic

“One should pay close attention to the Virgin’s expression, because it’s not one of neglect that is lost in space, rather her look expresses her inner thoughts. She knows there will be suffering which will shape her son’s life and her own.”

According to experts, Michelangelo made the sketch in the year 1525. It was recently restored, and during the process there was proof the artist had doubts about the works composition. At first he sketched the Madonna looking down at the Child, much how Rafael depicted her. But finally, Michelangelo decided to draw the Madonna turning away from the Child.

Restorers also discovered that in the XIX century, the drawings margin was cut, perhaps for framing purposes. It’s believed the alteration removed the Madonna’s veil.

A small masterpiece from the Renaissance that has become one of the most admired Nativities.

PVB/MC
DC
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